Tissue Distribution of α- and γ-Tocotrienol and γ-Tocopherol in Rats and Interference with Their Accumulation by α-Tocopherol


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The aim of this study was to evaluate tissue distribution of vitamin E isoforms such as α- and γ-tocotrienol and γ-tocopherol and interference with their tissue accumulation by α-tocopherol. Rats were fed a diet containing a tocotrienol mixture or γ-tocopherol with or without α-tocopherol, or were administered by gavage an emulsion containing tocotrienol mixture or γ-tocopherol with or without α-tocopherol. There were high levels of α-tocotrienol in the adipose tissue and adrenal gland, γ-tocotrienol in the adipose tissue, and γ-tocopherol in the adrenal gland of rats fed tocotrienol mixture or γ-tocopherol for 7 weeks. Dietary α-tocopherol decreased the α-tocotrienol and γ-tocopherol but not γ-tocotrienol concentrations in tissues. In the oral administration study, both tocopherol and tocotrienol quickly accumulated in the adrenal gland; however, their accumulation in adipose tissue was slow. In contrast to the dietary intake, α-tocopherol, which has the highest affinity for α-tocopherol transfer protein (αTTP), inhibited uptake of γ-tocotrienol to tissues including adipose tissue after oral administration, suggesting that the affinities of tocopherol and tocotrienol for αTTP in the liver were the critical determinants of their uptake to peripheral tissues. Vitamin E deficiency for 4 weeks depleted tocopherol and tocotrienol stores in the liver but not in adipose tissue. These results indicate that dietary vitamin E slowly accumulates in adipose tissue but the levels are kept without degradation. The property of adipose tissue as vitamin E store causes adipose tissue-specific accumulation of dietary tocotrienol.
Adipose tissue,Distribution,Rat,Tocopherol,Tocotrienol,Vitamin E
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